Officials with the Papillion-La Vista Community Schools revealed Monday where they want to build a third high school.

The decision on when to build the school has yet to be made.

Officials announced that they intend to buy a site on the east side of 72nd Street about three-quarters of a mile south of the Shadow Lake Towne Center shopping center.

The district is finalizing a $3.95 million purchase agreement for the 86.9-acre site — $45,500 an acre. The seller is Lienemann Enterprise Inc.

School board members will consider approving the purchase at their June 24 meeting.

The money to buy the land will come from the $109.9 million bond issue passed by voters in 2018.

That bond issue included $7 million to purchase land for new schools.

Construction of the new school is still years away, but the district wanted to move on purchasing the land.

District spokeswoman Annette Eyman said sites big enough for a high school will be hard to find in the future.

“To get that much land, we’ve got to do it now,” she said.

Purchasing the land is not a commitment to build, district officials made clear Monday night.

For the school to be built, voters would have to approve construction money in a future bond issue.

When and if a high school is built will depend on enrollment growth, officials said.

Doug Lewis, the district’s assistant superintendent for business services, said if the land is not used for a high school, it could be used for other district purposes or sold.

In the meantime, the district is expanding its two high schools with money from the 2018 bond issue.

Both Papillion-La Vista High School and Papillion-La Vista South High School are getting classroom additions. The capacity of each will be boosted to at least 2,000 students.

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Work is underway at Papio South and is slated for completion in the summer of 2021. The Papio project will probably be bid out in the fall. It will be done in the spring of 2022.

Officials have been saying for years that housing growth will occur on the southern edge of the district and that a third high school would most likely go somewhere in the southeast quarter of the district.

The proposed site of the new high school sits within the boundary of the Springfield Platteview school district.

Papillion-La Vista officials and Springfield Platteview officials are discussing a proposed monetary agreement, similar to past agreements, to compensate the neighboring district for the land transfer.

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Joe covers education for The World-Herald, focusing on pre-kindergarten through high school. Phone: 402-444-1077.

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